A rather unusual warm, early November Friday night in the Nation’s Capital turned even hotter when the nationally ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees knocked down fifteen three-pointers on their way to a 97-67 season opening, statement win over the visiting McMaster Marauders.
The Gee-Gees fought off a sluggish start by knocking down 11-of-their-15 three-pointers in the second (5-of-7, 71.4%) and third quarters (6-of-9, 66.7%) to deliver a 30-point blow out in front of their home fans.
“It felt like that, it felt like we couldn’t miss.” A satisfied and relaxed Ottawa head coach, James Derouin shared during post game.
“You got to win on those nights obviously, two weeks ago we couldn’t hit the side of a barn against McGill. We got to figure out how to be a little bit more consistent.”
Redshirt sophomore Cole Newton poured in a game-high 25 points, four assists, three rebounds on 10-of-13 shooting and a red-hot 5-of-8 from downtown.
“We definitely have a lot of guys who can shoot it, when we play small like that with Guillaume playing the four, we got a lot of perimeter threats and a lot of guys who can handle the ball, so it’s really tough to guard when you have four guards on the floor at all times.”
Sophomore Quincy Louis-Jeune (Montreal, Que.) added 19 points, four rebounds, three assists on 8-of-14 shooting and a red-hot 5-of-8 from downtown.
“There’s a lot of work to do, it’s only the first game, it doesn’t really matter like that. But just keep building, keep being hard on ourselves every practice, the details, and I think if we keep doing that, we are going to be a really, really special team this year. ”
Former Humber Hawks standout guard, Kevin Otoo (Toronto, Ont.) came off the bench and put further pressure on McMaster contributing 13 points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds.
Senior point-guard Dragan Stajic (Ottawa, Ont.) finished with 6 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
The Gee-Gees forced 24 turnovers, resulting in 25 points off of the Mauraders miscues.
McMaster were paced by Mychael Paulo’s 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Sefa Otchere chipped in with 9 points and three rebounds. Tyler Garcia and Ewaen ‘AY’ Osunde both finished with 8 points for the visitors.
Despite the big win, the Gee-Gees are fully aware of just how competitive the Ontario University Conference (OUA) has become. A promising 2021-22 season ended abruptly at home at the hands of the upstart Queens Golden Gaels, and Derouin expects much of the same going forward.
“Honestly, I think the OUA is going to be wild this year. I think there’s a lot of parity, I think there’s going to be wins and losses all over the place. I mean, It’s a good win, you can win tonight, and it can be something totally different tomorrow against a good, talent York team.”
“Queens sorta set the tone last night with a Laurentian win, but I really think you are going to see a lot of sorta strange up and down scores throughout the league I think it’s very competitive and don’t think you’re going to see a lot of nights like this. We’ll take the win, and we got to focus on York tomorrow.”